Meta launches Asia's first extended reality research hub in Taiwan

05/06/2022 05:24 PM
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CNA photo May 6, 2022
CNA photo May 6, 2022

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, launched Asia's first physical hub for extended reality (XR) research in Taiwan on Friday hoping to promote the immersive technologies of the future.

At the "Meta XR Hub Taiwan" launch ceremony in Taipei, head of Meta in Greater China Stephanie Chu (朱怡靜) described Taiwanese partners as an important cornerstone of future technological development.

"Today marks another milestone of Meta's establishment in Taiwan, and will work with Taiwanese partners to create the next generation of social technology," Chu said in her opening address.

According to Meta's chief product officer Chris Cox in a video speech delivered at the event, the metaverse is the next evolution of social technology, in which Taiwan plays a huge part.

Taiwan's ability to build hardware and set up public infrastructure is unparalleled, and it has many outstanding creators, artists, researchers, and developers who are all engaged in the development of future technologies and applications, Cox said.

As the sectors of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continue to flourish, Taiwan will not only become an important stronghold for the metaverse team, but also a key hub for driving global innovations, he said.

From left: AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk, President Tsai Ing-wen and Stephanie Chu, head of Meta in Greater China at the lanuch ceremony in Taipei. CNA photo May 6, 2022
From left: AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk, President Tsai Ing-wen and Stephanie Chu, head of Meta in Greater China at the lanuch ceremony in Taipei. CNA photo May 6, 2022

Also at the launch ceremony, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said that by establishing the XR Hub in Taipei, "Meta is demonstrating its belief that Taiwan will play a key role in the rapidly evolving metaverse industry."

"Taiwan is a central node of the globe's semiconductor ecosystem and a cutting-edge pioneer on emerging technologies like hardware-software integration, chipsets, processors, 5G and Wifi6," Oudkirk said.

Taiwan developers and artists have also won global awards for VR content creation, she said, and "these are all essential elements in the metaverse."

According to Meta, the XR hub in Taiwan will focus on such areas as working in collaboration with Taiwantrade to establish a platform where people can digitally engage with each other so that trade exhibitions will not be just limited to a physical or online event.

Taiwantrade is an interactive electronic business portal operated by the government-sponsored Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

CNA photo May 6, 2022
CNA photo May 6, 2022

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at the ceremony that her government will work hard to build a better environment for the development of the digital economy and expressed hope that Meta can continue to further expand its investments in Taiwan.

Tsai said the metaverse taking root in Taiwan will help drive local communication technology development and XR innovative applications and prompt more industry players to accelerate their participation in the metaverse.

(By Jeffrey Wu and Ko Lin)

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